I’m trying to remember Monday. It was a crazy day, a fun one, but crazy as in we were so busy. But before I start remembering by writing it down I want to go back a few Christmases, a few Decembers.
Three Christmases ago when we lived in Chili, WI I visited St. Vinnies food pantry and they also let me pick out gifts from a special room they keep stocked with kids things for needy folks on Christmas. They didn’t have the latest gadgets but to me who cares, it’s just fun to open presents and get something you didn’t have before. I picked out the best I could what each kid might enjoy. Pleasing kids with Autism and Aspergers is difficult as it is. Besides being painfully honest they also tend to hate every thing at first then one day they forget they hate it and start using it, playing with it or if it’s food eating it as if they had always been doing that. My two kids that are not in the spectrum are much better at excepting gifts when given. Even if it’s not something they want they know how to be polite and say thank you. That year we also had a box of food delivered to our door. I’ll just add now that every time that happens it’s always good timing because it’s close to the end of the month when finances are tight.
Two Christmases ago we lived in Plover, WI. This time the kids school signed us up for their Christmas help and had us fill out some info on the kids like their gender and size and wish list. A giant plastic bad of wrapped gifts was delivered to us. I just loved having so many gifts under the tree. This time though the girls were a bit tougher to please due to being teens and more opinionated. It’s hard to get upset with them and call them ungrateful when the gifts weren’t really age appropriate but I still give them the be thankful lecture. I shouldn’t expect them to be like me. It’s just that after about the age of ten Christmas gifts got fewer and fewer. As much as I loved opening presents I didn’t like being pitied. But if a gift was genuine I loved it no matter what it was. One Christmas I knew there would be no gifts so I took my tickets from playing video games that I saved up and got my mom, dad and sister stuff from the prize window. It was pretty silly but we all enjoyed it anyway.
This year we got a card to fill out again with the gender, size and wish list. Even though we didn’t expect to get anything from their wish list we filled it out any way cause ya never know. Later I was freaked out by a knock at the door. We don’t get those much, lol. It was the fire dept volunteers with a box of food. Again the food came at a good time and it had fresh oranges which was a big hit. Later a lady delivered the wrapped presents. She gave me a thank you card already addressed and stamped and suggested we send it. That was my clue that this was different like maybe this time we had a secret Santa type thing. The kids opened the presents early. Kyle was elated with most of his presents. He and Levi don’t wear blue jeans due to texture issues but Kyle loved his shirts and science book type things. Kara loved the things that fit her though most of it was too small. As usual my ASD kids were a bit harsh and I found myself giving the be grateful lecture again. True, the clothes either didn’t fit or were a texture issue or not their style, but I still am working on them being more gracious. The coolest thing was that almost everything came with a gift receipt. That was super awesome! Now we could return things and get the stuff in their correct size and style.
Monday Preston (the kids dad) came for the boys. The plan was instead of taking them Saturday and bringing them back home Sunday as usual I would keep them for the weekend and he would take them Monday since he was also out of school and then come for the girls on Christmas afternoon to go to their aunts for a family Christmas. So Monday, after the boys left, the girls and I went shopping, more like returning and shopping. I thought it would be better to get the returning out of the way cause usually after Christmas the customer service desks are loaded with people returning gift items. It worked out well because we didn’t have any lines to wait in. All the people working at the different customer service desks were very polite and helpful as well as patient cause there were quite a few items that we weren’t exactly sure which store to return them too. I even had one dumpy large blue mystery tee shirt that’s been moving around our home for a few weeks now that somehow got into the return box. Oops!
On the way to the first store I took a right off the free way into busy traffic and passed a lady and her three little tikes. They were walking on the busy road too close to the cars and about to cross the freeway exit. They couldn’t walk on the sidewalk because the snow plow had piled the snow up high on it and there was no where else to walk but the busy road its self. As I drove on I told the girls that even though I warn against picking up strangers I was tempted to go back and offer her a ride. They were concerned but the more I thought about it the more I just had to do it. It was crazy dangerous for that lady and children to be there like that. I told the girls I really didn’t think a mom with three little tikes (all under the age of 7) would pose a danger to us. I turned the car around and easily found her crossing a large slippery street that went uphill at a steep incline. I rolled down the window and asked her if she wanted a ride. She didn’t hesitate to say yes and they all four climbed in my mini van. She told me to go to the top of the hill, turn right and go another three miles. It took a really long time to get up that hill cause the car didn’t want to move, it was that slippery. I tried not to imagine us slipping backwards cause the the street at the bottom had a lot of really fast traffic. Though it was a slow go we did make it to the top and once I turned right the rest was smooth sailing. I couldn’t get over how far the lady and her three little ones would have had to walk. And, it was freekin cold out taboot.
It felt good to be able to help someone in need. It was also awesome to be able to get the kids what they want and need even though it was a bit complicated cause the gift receipts were from about five or six different stores. Still the girls had fun shopping with mom and without the boys.
I had bought the kids an Xbox for Christmas a week or so prior. I owed Preston a hundred dollars but he said not to pay him back but to use it for Christmas for the kids so with that and what I had left on the Target card and that Target had a sale on Xbox 360’s I was able to get it. I let the girls put it together ahead of time so it would be ready when the boys came home. I tried not to be involved but it turned out I had to help anyway. The Xbox came with a month free Netflix. Of course Netflix is offering everyone a free month for sign up anyway but we went on and did it.
Come Christmas things worked out differently then our original plan. Preston called in the morning to let me know due to it snowing all night and most of the day the roads weren’t safe to travel on. So besides sleeping in the girls and I spent most of the day watching shows on the DVR (Fringe Season 3) and Netflix (Supernatural Season 8). I also made cookies. I got to talk to the boys on the phone and they sounded good. They were supposed to come home the next day and then on Friday Preston’s family plans to have their family Christmas. Hannah wants to make the Fratelli she learned to make by watching CutiePieMarzia on YouTube to take with her. She’s made it before and it’s not bad.
Preston brought the boys home on Thursday (Today). The girls went home with him so now I got time with the boys till they all go to the grandparents tomorrow. Of course the boys are busy on the XBox but that’s fine, gives me time to finish this up.